To incubate a Social Procurement Initiative for British Columbia that supports local governments and institutional purchasers in implementing social procurement best practices


Local governments and institutional purchasers in British Columbia have access to professional development, resources and advice to develop tools and skills to implement social procurement


To improve the health of our communities and the strength of our economies by changing the culture of public sector procurement

Are the dollars you spend supporting your local economy?

In British Columbia, local governments and other large purchasers spend billions of dollars each year on goods, services and infrastructure projects. This purchasing power could open doors to employment, increase local training, support local businesses and provide multiple community benefits. Social procurement is legal, do-able and makes a meaningful difference.

Social procurement is a growing best practice that aligns procurement spend to provide added value and community benefits. The British Columbia Social Procurement Initiative (BCSPI) aims to take this best practice thinking and approach, and help build a more resilient and more inclusive Province.


Local governments and large institutional purchasers in British Columbia are embracing and implementing social procurement.

Standardized approach to social procurement across government, while each community has the ability to create community-specific social value.

Procurement staff are trained in social procurement and have the ability to issue tenders and RFPs that result in community benefits.

Product and service suppliers are fully engaged, bidding on contracts, and responding to RFPs issued by local governments.

The British Columbia Provincial Government is aware of, and supportive of BCSPI.

A robust monitoring and reporting framework is in place.

BCSPI is a long-term, sustainable initiative.

Interest is demonstrated by the wider Municipal, Academic Institutions, Schools and Hospitals (MASH) sector.

What Is Social Procurement?

Social procurement is an additional way that governments and purchasers can direct resources towards community benefit. Since 2016, BCSPI members have been identifying ways to integrate social procurement principles and actions into their purchasing processes.

Watch this short video from BCSPI Partner, Buy Social Canada

Why is Social Procurement Important?

Communities today are facing complex social, economic and environmental challenges. Every year, local governments across BC award contracts for goods and services with significant public funds. Social procurement focuses on ‘best value for money’ beyond just a financial transaction. It is becoming an increasingly expected practice that RFPs include local community and environmental impact assessments and goals, at all levels of government. Procurement becomes a tool for building healthy communities.

How Can Social Procurement Create Additional Value?

Social procurement can be adapted to meet specific community needs. Some communities have integrated into RFPs criteria such as employment of marginalized population groups, local food, housing affordability, community engagement, local economic revitalization, beautification and cultural amenities. The first step is identifying what your community’s challenges and needs are, and how procurement can help address them.

Social Procurement In Action

These local case studies from BCSPI member communities provide great ideas for how to begin implementing social procurement. They also discuss important outcomes and lessons learned throughout each process.

Comox Valley RD: Keeping It Simple

Learn how community employment benefits were achieved in a large construction project.

City of Victoria: Small Spends for Community Benefit

The City of Victoria is using p-card spend as a first step to integrating social value.

Tofino: Unbundling for Local Benefit

Unbundling a large streetscape revitalization contract to include local vendors.

Port Hardy: Test Driving Community Value

Recreation centre upgrades address community and environmental needs.

City Of Victoria: Those Five Points Matter

The City of Victoria piloted social value criteria in a Request for Proposals for public waste bins.

BCSPI members have engaged in training of staff and vendors and accessed tools, templates, and consultation support to adopt social procurement practices. To-date BCSPI members have launched over 50 initial pilot projects, creating over $200 million in social procurement spend.

Read the CCSPI Phase 1 Report

CCSPI was established in 2018 as a pilot for local governments on Vancouver Island and in the Coastal Communities to test and implement social procurement practices.

In it’s 2-year pilot phase, CCSPI members realized over $200 million in social procurement spend by adding social value to their purchasing practices, generating significant community benefits from existing procurement dollars at a time when their local economies needed it most.

This report chronicles the first two years of the Initiative, which is unique in Canada as a regional approach, and how these new practices that can help to unlock additional social value from an organization’s existing spending are changing the culture of public sector procurement.

BCSPI Governance

BCSPI is governed by a steering committee made up of elected officials and staff at which all local government members are invited to sit.
The steering committee meets quarterly and oversees the work of the initiative. Quarterly steering committee reports are available to all members via the BCSPI member portal. 

BCSPI Project Delivery Team

Participating Governments & Organizations

Get In Touch

For more information about BCSPI or to schedule services,
please contact Robert Fisher, Project Coordinator at rfisher@scalecollaborative.ca

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